Latest News

Health authorities concerned about diphtheria in Haiti

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — At least three people have died as the health authorities here worry about the return of diphtheria to Haiti due to lack of vaccination of children.

During the first seven months of this year, 72 probable cases of diphtheria have been reported with 74 per cent of the cases being children under 10 years old.

Health officials have said 22 cases were confirmed in the laboratory, three of whom have since died.

They said immunisation status is unknown for 54.5 per cent of confirmed cases; 18 per cent were vaccinated and 27 per cent were not vaccinated. The confirmed cases come from four departments: Artibonite, centre, west and southeast.

Diphtheria is an infectious disease due to three bacterial species capable of producing diphtheria toxin. The bacterium is transmitted by air, specifically via aerosols emitted during a cough or sneezing during direct contact with a patient or asymptomatic carrier.

The incubation period is usually 2 to 5 days. The most characteristic symptom of this disease is the presence of whitish “false membranes” in the tonsils (diphtheria) or in the wound (cutaneous diphtheria). Diphtheria angina is the usual form of the disease.

It is characterised by pharyngitis, fever, swelling of the neck and headache. In some cases, the toxin can lead to paralysis of the central nervous system or the diaphragm and throat, resulting in death by asphyxiation.

Treatment of diphtheria consists of immediate administration of anti-diphtheria serum by intramuscular injection and antibiotics.

The vaccine is the only way to be protected against diphtheria because there is no natural immunity. The vaccines against diphtheria are effective and well tolerated.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT